Google Voice has proved to be an incredibly popular service in the US, with tens of thousands of users turning to the site to make free online phone calls and text messages as well as taking advantage of a free voicemail service. The internet giant has now released and iPhone app that allows for use of the service on the move without the need to rely on a mobile version of the web site.
Configuring the app is a simple matter of providing your email address and password before indicating any secondary numbers you would like to use to route phone calls. Google Voice can then be used to make free phone calls to the US and Canada and cheap worldwide calls as well – as you are given $1 of free credit to try out the overseas feature. The service can also be used to send free text messages.
The app’s inbox provides easy access to your voicemails and text messages, and you can reply to SMSes from within the app. You can also play back your voicemail messages, accompanied by transcription is you have this feature enabled.
One of the most important features of Google Voice is push notifications. The app can be configured to notify you of missed calls, voicemails and text messages. Badges are neatly synchronise with the Google Voice web site, so should you miss a call, dismiss the notification on your phone and then read it on the Google Voice web site, the badge on your home screen vanishes so there is no danger of thinking there is another message waiting for you.
The app is not perfect, and the fact that the call minutes included in your phone tariff are used to place calls is somewhat off-putting when the likes of Skype allow for free VoIP calls, but it is great effort that’s well worth checking out.